Home Security Systems

Jay Roman

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I thought so :)


Honestly I do not. Somewhere around $400, I think? I installed it all myself. I'd twice had installers do it. I was not happy with their work either time. However, that did mean 90% of the wiring was already done for me. All I had to do was re-terminate all the switches. (It had been DSC systems in the past, and Honeywell/Ademco uses a different end-of-line resistor (EOLR) value.

Caveat: That Honeywell/Ademco stuff was designed to be installed and configured by professional installers. It is not user-friendly. I have quite a significant background in all manner of tech, and it was something of a challenge even for me.
do you remember what you paid for the installation?

just curious so i can get a baseline price ??
 
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I was about 70 when I installed our current system, complete. The cost ran around $800 for the panel, remotes, key fobs, EnvisaLink, PIRs, glass break, recessed and surface contacts, sirens(3), fire detectors, batteries and auxiliary power supplies for those batteries and all the wire. I'm not including the cost of bits, staples, network cable for the EnvisaLink and all the odds and ends, so I'd say allow $1000 for the whole kit an kaboodle. I bought everything online from either security system vendors or eBay, whoever was least expensive for new equipment.

Ademco/Honeywell is what I worked with when I owned a security company so I'm basically familiar with the 20P even though I've been out of that business for about 30 years. The "20" series has a long and good history.
 

Jay Roman

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I was about 70 when I installed our current system, complete. The cost ran around $800 for the panel, remotes, key fobs, EnvisaLink, PIRs, glass break, recessed and surface contacts, sirens(3), fire detectors, batteries and auxiliary power supplies for those batteries and all the wire. I'm not including the cost of bits, staples, network cable for the EnvisaLink and all the odds and ends, so I'd say allow $1000 for the whole kit an kaboodle. I bought everything online from either security system vendors or eBay, whoever was least expensive for new equipment.

Ademco/Honeywell is what I worked with when I owned a security company so I'm basically familiar with the 20P even though I've been out of that business for about 30 years. The "20" series has a long and good history.
Damn 70.

How old are you now sir ???

If you don't mind me asking.

Much wisdom, you must have
 
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What do you all think about this. Found some prices on ebay,

View attachment 87004


Or I can buy a complete kit

That 12v 8Ah back-up battery might not fit the Vista 20p. The APC UPS and similar brand battery back-up units use battery terminal F2 tabs. Most alarm systems including the Vista 20p use terminal F1 tabs for the battery. So if you buy a battery with F2 terminals the tabs will be too big to plug in to the Vista.

Edit- Everything else on the list looks good except for the wireless sensors. I'm not familiar with that off brand but I would recommend just buying the Honeywell variant (5800mini). I can usually find them on Amazon for $20.00 each. It's not worth buying a cheaper brand and potentially sacrificing quality. The last thing you want is false alarms.
 
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I just remembered a few things I left off of my equipment list. Zone expander and RF receiver. The RF receiver is for the key fobs and for when I expand it out to cover the equipment shed. I want the electrical isolation, power spikes, of RF for the shed.
 

The Automation Guy

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I have a self-installed alarm system (in an existing structure - not new construction) that is tied into a larger home automation system. I hardwired all the doors, but ended up using wireless for most of the windows. While I could have hardwired most of the windows, I didn't want to have to run all the wires and take trim off the windows and reinstall, touchup paint, etc. The wireless actually works well and the batteries last years in these devices. In the end, a good security system is multilayered, so door and window contacts are just the first line of defense. You also need glass breaks and motion detectors to add to the total effectiveness of the system. Most alarms have "two-way" wireless systems so the alarm does monitor the wireless zones. If a wireless device drops off the system, it alerts you and/or sets the alarm off. This is really about as secure as hardwiring zones. The biggest difference between wireless and hardwired is the cost. A hardwired sensor might cost $2-$5 each while a wireless sensor might be $20-$50 each.

We use the alarm status to trigger all sorts of other automation tasks (like changing HVAC setpoints, turning lights on/off, turning A/V equipment off when armed, etc, etc, etc). This is very helpful because things don't change based on a set schedule, but on our family's actual activities. For example, if we stay up watching TV later than normal, the HVAC system doesn't change it's temperature settings until we arm the system to "night" mode. Or if we are going to be away from the house for a few days, we arm the system "Away Vacation" and it set things differently than it would if we just leave to go to work.

The last thing I would recommend is for someone to use ADT or any other company that provides a free system and installation and then requires that you enter a contract to pay them monthly to monitor the system. They obviously make their money by overcharging on the monitoring service. IMHO it's like leasing a car or renting a house. You will end up paying a whole lot more than paying a local installer (or even better DIYing it yourself) to come install a system and then have the freedom to choose whatever service provider you want. There are several reputable companies (like Alarm Relay) that provide monitoring services for reasonable prices without any contracts.
 
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Jay Roman

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I have a self-installed alarm system (in an existing structure - not new construction) that is tied into a larger home automation system. I hardwired all the doors, but ended up using wireless for most of the windows. While I could have hardwired most of the windows, I didn't want to have to run all the wires and take trim off the windows and reinstall, touchup paint, etc. The wireless actually works well and the batteries last years in these devices. In the end, a good security system is multilayered, so door and window contacts are just the first line of defense. You also need glass breaks and motion detectors to add to the total effectiveness of the system. Most alarms have "two-way" wireless systems so the alarm does monitor the wireless zones. If a wireless device drops off the system, it alerts you and/or sets the alarm off. This is really about as secure as hardwiring zones. The biggest difference between wireless and hardwired is the cost. A hardwired sensor might cost $2-$5 each while a wireless sensor might be $20-$50 each.

We use the alarm status to trigger all sorts of other automation tasks (like changing HVAC setpoints, turning lights on/off, turning A/V equipment off when armed, etc, etc, etc). This is very helpful because things don't change based on a set schedule, but on our family's actual activities. For example, if we stay up watching TV later than normal, the HVAC system doesn't change it's temperature settings until we arm the system to "night" mode. Or if we are going to be away from the house for a few days, we arm the system "Away Vacation" and it set things differently than it would if we just leave to go to work.

The last thing I would recommend is for someone to use ADT or any other company that provides a free system and installation and then requires that you enter a contract to pay them monthly to monitor the system. They obviously make their money by overcharging on the monitoring service. IMHO it's like leasing a car or renting a house. You will end up paying a whole lot more than paying a local installer (or even better DIYing it yourself) to come install a system and then have the freedom to choose whatever service provider you want. There are several reputable companies (like Alarm Relay) that provide monitoring services for reasonable prices without any contracts.
I called my local alarm company .

They said like $1-2k for the install.
And then like $100 a month for monitoring.

I can spend less than 500, if i get everything myself and do self monitoring. I really just want to hire someone to do a wired install
 

Jay Roman

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Besides the 5800mini, will the below 5816 sensor work fine? What are the differences besides size? The mini does look nicer.

 

JJStats

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I just remembered a few things I left off of my equipment list. Zone expander and RF receiver. The RF receiver is for the key fobs and for when I expand it out to cover the equipment shed. I want the electrical isolation, power spikes, of RF for the shed.
What gauge wire is required for a wired system?

Where can the wired door/window sensors be purchased?

Is the AC transformer rated at 16.5VAC 25VA sufficient for your current setup if cellular communicator was added?

Can I the communicators below be self monitored?



Thank you.
 
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I wired all sensors, contacts, PIRs, glass break, with 22 gauge. The transformers and sirens which are wired with 16/2. All of the wire is CMR rated, rated for use as "riser" cable inside walls. The fire sensors, rate of rise and smoke/ionization, are wired with 18/4 fire rated alarm cable.

Search for alarm equipment. There are more than a few sources other than Amazon and eBay that actually stock full lines of equipment, fairly reliable sources and have competitive prices.

I'm using multiple power supplies and each transformer is rated for each supply. Keep in mind the actual job of the transformer/supply is to power the system and to keep the battery(ies) charged so the need to be fairly beefy. Your system power draw, when in alarm condition, is the number to watch. Generally speaking, no system power supply will be capable of powering a siren, or multiple sirens, by itself which is why having a battery capable of doing that for the full time of system time out when tripped is so important.

I would guess that communicator is specifically for commercial central station monitoring. EnvisaLink is designed for self monitoring or their central station as well.
 

Jay Roman

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That 12v 8Ah back-up battery might not fit the Vista 20p. The APC UPS and similar brand battery back-up units use battery terminal F2 tabs. Most alarm systems including the Vista 20p use terminal F1 tabs for the battery. So if you buy a battery with F2 terminals the tabs will be too big to plug in to the Vista.

Edit- Everything else on the list looks good except for the wireless sensors. I'm not familiar with that off brand but I would recommend just buying the Honeywell variant (5800mini). I can usually find them on Amazon for $20.00 each. It's not worth buying a cheaper brand and potentially sacrificing quality. The last thing you want is false alarms.

Thanks for the info on the backup battery. this should work instead than right ?




Side note: how difficult is wiring two backup batteries ?

something like this

 
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They just get wired in parallel, but keep in mind the charger will need lots of time to charge up two of them. A better solution is to use one battery for the panel and use a separate charge for the second battery which get used to power the auxiliary equipment like PIRs, glass break and fire detectors.
 

Jay Roman

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I to have a Honeywell Vista 20 system with Envisalink 4. It was one of the best purchases I have ever made. I did the full install all hardwired accept some window sensors are wireless. Got a touchscreen at the front entrance and 6160RF in garage for programming.
Which touchscreen are you using ?

I am currently debating between the - HONEYWELL TUXEDO TOUCH $190 VS the Honeywell 6290W $180

I know the Tuxedo can utilize Z wave.
 

Jay Roman

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They just get wired in parallel, but keep in mind the charger will need lots of time to charge up two of them. A better solution is to use one battery for the panel and use a separate charge for the second battery which get used to power the auxiliary equipment like PIRs, glass break and fire detectors.
What kind of battery charger could i use?
 
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Which touchscreen are you using ?

I am currently debating between the - HONEYWELL TUXEDO TOUCH $190 VS the Honeywell 6290W $180

I know the Tuxedo can utilize Z wave.
FWIW - Not butting in here, but if you go with a tuxedo touch, you will definitely need to install also an auxilliary power supply and an additional backup battery. I went this route, and highly recommend a tuxedo touch. I did however not pay any more than $90 for mine on eBay. And yes, it was NIB.
 
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